NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Watches Sun Emit Powerful X-Class Flare

Friday, 25 April 2014 - 11:54AM
Space
Astronomy
Sun
Friday, 25 April 2014 - 11:54AM
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory Watches Sun Emit Powerful X-Class Flare

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory witnessed a powerful X-Class solar flare erupting yesterday and, while the radiation emitted from the eruption can't harm us here on the Earth's surface, it did interfere with communications systems and GPS signals as it pummelled our atmosphere. The X1.4 strength flare peaked at around 8.30pm EDT on April 24th and the violent event can be seen clearly in the video above..

 

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was launched in 2010 with the express purpose of understanding how events on our host star impact us here on Earth. Measuring the energetic particles carried in solar winds, the SDO hopes to uncover the secrets of how the sun converts its energy before releasing it into our solar system. In it's 4 years of studying the sun, SDO has observed countless solar flares ranging from the weakest A-class flares right through to powerful X-Class flares such as this one.

 

While this latest X1.4 is categorized in the strongest solar flare class, it is weak in comparison to some of the most powerful flares ever observed. In 2003, an X28 class flare was emitted from the sun which blacked out radio communications across much of the globe and coloring the skies with spectacular aurorae.

 

Click here for a hi-res image of the spectacular event.

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NASA
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